When we host houseconcerts, we ask people to bring along a healthy snack, whether that means a bowl of fruit, a tray of veggies, or their homemade Italian Eggplant Caponata. Often, people will bring their signature dishes, and it's not unusual to find the kitchen butcher-block buffet heavy with likes of a fabulous vegetable curry, espresso chocolate chip cookies, homemade cheeses, and delicious breads.
During one particular concert, the musician made a point of thanking the guests for loading him up with such exceptional foods, and he said that he didn't want to exclude anyone, but that the rosemary bread was just to die for. Indeed it was. It took me a while to ask for the recipe, but now that I have it, my rosemary plants are in danger of being stripped bare.
This is similar to Daniel Lahey's No-Knead Bread, but this one requires no kneading at all and only takes a little over two hours, start to finish, to make. I can imagine you could use other herbs, if you like, and I plan on trying it out with basil, tarragon or oregano.
This dough is extremely wet, so if you end up with a big, gooey mess after the mixing and the first rising period, you haven't done anything wrong. Just grease up your hands before you pull the mass from the rising bowl, and make sure you oil your baking pan well before slopping the dough onto it. Make two batches. You'll be glad you did.
No-Knead Rosemary Bread
Courtesy of Sonia S.
(makes 2 loaves)
2 cups warm water
2 teaspoons instant yeast
4 cups flour (I use bread flour, but you might be able to use all-purpose flour)
2 teaspoons salt
Extra virgin olive oil
A handful of fresh rosemary, hard stem removed and chopped
Mix yeast and water in large bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, salt and a small handful of chopped rosemary. Add to yeast and water. Blend with a spoon until mixed and the dough pulls away from the edges of the bowl (will be gooey). Cover and let rise for 1 hour, 20 minutes. Grease a cookie sheet or two-loaf baguette pan with olive oil. Grease your hands and dump the dough into two loaves, forming rough elongated loaf shapes with your hands. Pat with olive oil, sprinkle with chopped rosemary and a dusting of kosher salt. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes and then at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
Serve with delicious pesto, butter, or olive oil mixed with fresh basil, crushed red pepper, crushed fresh garlic, a bit or oregano and kosher salt to taste.
Let me know what you think!